Japan 2016 – Day Six – What to do in Yokohama?

Yokohama is one of those cities that seems easy to pass over if you visit for a few days. To be honest, on our first day there, we weren’t overly thrilled or excited about the city unlike other places we had visited. In Tokyo and Osaka you have the bright lights, busy streets, and noise that makes you just stare and wander. In quieter areas like Kamakura, Enoshima and Gora, you enjoy the fresh air, nature, peacefulness and hospitality that comes with it.

Yokohama Metal Thingy
Yokohama Metal Thingy

I put Yokohama in the same bucket as a city like Singapore. There isn’t a hell of a lot to do beyond the few tourist sites, but i’m sure if you actually were to live your life there, it would be a fantastic place to be. Its not full of tourist sites, but rather, smaller places that you need a lot of time to discover for yourself.

Transit to Yokohama

We were totally without a plan for our first day in Yokohama, and that’s my fault. We dropped off our Airbnb keys in the mailbox, and took the train from Enoshima to Yokohama, about a 50 minute commute including a transfer at Fujisawa to onto the JR Tokaido line.

Yokohama JAL City Kannai, a hotel suited for business travellers, was our next stop. Its a pretty decent hotel, with the regular things you would expect in a Japanese hotel, but at a reasonable price. Its also on the Minato Mirai train line, and is walkable distance to the Minato Mirai area if you want to save on train fares.

Landmark Tower

We dropped off our bags and headed off to Yokohama Landmark Tower, and boy was this a downer. The shopping centre seemed like it was in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. There was almost no one there but us and a few other tourists wandering around. I guess people tend to do most of their shopping in the larger cities like Tokyo and Osaka, particulaly before flying back.

We wanted to see the Pokemon store (of course..) to grab a few souveneers. Note, this was all before the Pokemon Go craze. Im sure if i went there today it would be going ape.

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Theres also one of these in Ikebukuro, so don’t think you need to spend a day travelling here just to find it. The stores are basically the same. The gashapon machines always get me, especially when they are Pikachu themed.

Note – there are a million shopping centres around here, and we went to a lot of them. Feeling lazy to write about each and every one, but you sorta know what to expect.

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Chinatown

Feeling a bit down after visiting the centre, we ventured to Chinatown to see the largest chinatown in Japan. As someone of Chinese background, i generally make a point to NOT visit chinatowns overseas, as we have a fantastic one in Sydney, and i do not see the point of it.

However, this one was sort of interesting to see the Japanese twist to it. A large proportion of the population is ethnically Chinese, and therefore can speak both Mandarin and Japanese. You can tell whose who based on the type of service you receive 🙂

Anyway we grabbed some of these cheese tarts, and man, are they delicious fresh out of the oven.

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The street food in Chinatown is fantastic, and i highly recommend strolling here and eating where you can. There are dumpling stores that sell the pan fried and steamed variety, and you are expected to stand and eat besides the stalls at the bench tops. This is probably one of the examples (except at outdoor markets) where i see Japanese people eating on the streets.

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We also wasted a heap of money at this SEGA game centre. I couldn’t help myself. We came out with nothing, so another word of advice, these UFO machines are impossible for foreigners. You have to commit huge amounts of money to get anything decent -_-

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Red Brick Warehouse

On the next stop, we walked over to the Red Brick Warehouse. The warehouse is a building used as a shopping centre, function hall, and for restaurants. I’m not quite across the history of the building, but it does look nice at night 🙂

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The building hosts a lot of boutique clothing stores
We had an early dinner at Bills, an Australian restaurant that’s originally from Surry Hills in Sydney. There’s also a branch in Harajuku for those interested. The food is sorta average for the price, but I was craving a hamburger so it was worth it.
One Small Burger and Fries - Bills Yokohama
One Small Burger and Fries – Bills Yokohama
Vegetable Chips - Bills Yokohama
Vegetable Chips – Bills Yokohama

We decided to go for a stroll at night around the neighbourhood, and stumbled across some of the most interesting stores on this trip. The first being ‘Collectors Market’, a shop selling all sorts of stuff from the 80s/90s, including vinyl, old toys and figurines, poster prints, retro shirts, and so forth. It has a lot of really random stuff like old school trading cards (think Ninja Turtles, Gremlins, Yo! MTV Raps, etc.).

This shop is located in the World Porters shopping centre, another complex filled with retail stores and restaurants. This shop is in an awkward spot, its located on the 2nd floor in the balcony section, so you need to pop out outside after going in.

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I ended up picking some pretty cool things, namely a Vince Carter figurine set featuring VC in his Toronto days, as well as in North Carolina for Y1000. I’ll upload the photos from this store in a separate post.

Summary of places visited

Pokemon World / Landmark Plaza
Landmark Plaza, 2-2-1 Minatomirai, Nishi Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 220-0012, Japan

Sega
Naka-ku Yamashita-cho 80-1 Yokohama, Kanagawa PrefectureChinatown Yokohama

Red Brick Warehouse
1-1-2 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001, Kanagawa Prefecture

Bills Restaurant
1-1-2 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001, Kanagawa Prefecture

World Porters
2-2-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001,Kanagawa Prefecture

Collection Market
Floor 2, 2-2-1 Shinko, Naka-ku, Yokohama 231-0001,Kanagawa Prefecture

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